Insomnia is one of the most prevalent health issues that plague people of all ages and across the world. Not being able to get enough sleep can have a detrimental impact on your health, productivity and quality of life. No wonder, insomnia is seen as a major challenge by patients and practitioners alike. While there are several medicines to help sleep-deprived people, they may seek other natural alternatives as well.
One of these is cannabis, which has emerged as a safe and reliable sleep aid today. The plant has the ability to relax and promote good sleep, in addition to bringing several other sleep-related benefits such as increased duration and deeper sleep. All in all, cannabis has emerged as a proven remedy for insomnia but the best part is that it is completely safe and natural. However, before you start using it for insomnia, there are a few facts that you need to know.
1. Both CBD and THC impact sleep but in different ways
It is to be noted that CBD and THC have an impact on sleep, but they act differently. Scientific studies have indicated that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the cannabinoid which is capable of inducing sleep. CBD (cannabidiol), on the other hand, is the non-intoxicating compound that promotes wakefulness. Using strains which are high in THC, therefore, may show a greater efficacy for treating insomnia, while those high in CBD may be helpful for resolving the grogginess caused by too little sleep.
2. Indica strains are better sleep aids
Indica strains are considered better for inducing sleep while sativa strains are uplifting and energizing in nature. This is probably because of the high content of sedating and relaxing compounds called terpenes found in the indica strains. If you are looking for an effective natural remedy for insomnia, it is best to choose this one.
3. THC is capable of boosting melatonin levels
Melatonin is a hormone produced within the human body and it plays a key role in regulating the sleep cycles. THC boosts the production of this hormone, which makes it a powerful natural remedy for insomnia. This is the reason that it has emerged as a proven and safe measure to alleviate insomnia naturally.
4. Cannabis benefits go much beyond treating insomnia
Since cannabis has the ability to bring physical relaxation and relieve stress effectively, it can help you fall asleep naturally. However, its benefits go much beyond as well because it is effective for relieving several health issues such as pain, PTSD, multiple sclerosis and more. All these are pain-related conditions that can cause sleep deprivation and taking cannabis can promote sleep by addressing these issues.
5. Aged cannabis is more effective for insomnia
Another fact related to cannabis for insomnia is that aged cannabis is more effective. When THC degrades with the passage of time, it gets converted into cannabinol, which is a sedating compound. Though the formation of this compound is a slow process, it is many times more sedating as compared to THC. Therefore, it is better to buy an aged product if you plan to use cannabis to resolve sleep-related issues.
6. Edibles turn out to be the best option
When it comes to the method of cannabis use that is most effective for treating insomnia, edibles win the points. It is a great option if your concern is to stay asleep rather than fall asleep. Though you may take longer to experience the impact with edibles as compared to other methods such as vape pens, tinctures or oils, the effect will stay much longer. Websites such as Mission Organic Center sell a range of products including edibles to be used for addressing insomnia.
7. Cannabis inhibits dreaming and REM sleep
Another fact about cannabis-induced sleep is that you will probably miss your dreams and nightmares too. The sleep cycle comprises several stages and Rapid Eye Movement (REM) is the phase when you dream. Using cannabis reduces the time spent in the REM phase, which means that you will probably not dream. Even if you do dream, these dreams will not be very vivid. Conversely, they may become lucid in case you stop using cannabis after long-term because you may experience REM rebound.
8. Cannabis may promote breathing and resolve sleep apnea
Besides treating insomnia, cannabis may also be effective for treating another common sleep-related condition called sleep apnea. This condition is characterized by frequent breath obstructions that may last from a few seconds to even several minutes. The patient usually wakes up during these breathing lapses and this can lead to a series of health issues. Studies indicate the efficacy of cannabis for improving the breathing patterns and resolving this condition to a considerable extent.
9. Cannabis effect is enhanced by natural remedies
Cannabis itself is capable of addressing insomnia with a considerable efficacy but its effect can be enhanced further by combining it with other natural remedies. These include herbals measures such as chamomile, hops and lavender. Like cannabis, these herbs are also high in terpenes which further add to the sedative effects of the plant. So the next time you take your bedtime dose of cannabis, sip a cup of herbal tea along with it and have an undisturbed sleep to wake up refreshed the next morning.
10. Discontinuation of long-term use can worsen sleep
Think twice before discontinuing cannabis if you have been using it for insomnia relief since a long time. A tolerance break can aggravate the sleep disorder and you may end up tossing and turning all night to wake up groggy and lethargic the next morning. Scientific studies have shown that discontinuation can cut down the sleep time, lead to longer sleep onset and result in frequent disruptions.
Now that you know enough about cannabis as an option for treating insomnia, you will realize that it is perfectly safe for regular use. Just taking the right dose every night will make sleeping much easier and improve your energy levels and attention span as you wake up the next day.